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A Dark Coincidence
Beep! Beep! I slam my alarm clock grumbling. Ugh. Time for another day at school. Another day of being ostracized for being a bit shy and antisocial. So what if I don't like people? That doesn't mean you should mess with me because of it. But no matter how much I hate going to school I have to. Because it's not only me who suffers.
I pull on my dark blue jeans and dark blue v-neck shirt. I brush my teeth and do everything necessary to get ready. It takes me a minute to find my simple white tennis shoes. I tend to just kick them off my feet the minute I get home and make it to my room. I check my appearance. Same icy blue eyes and honey highlighted brown hair. Everything checks out ok so I head out of my room.
Joseph is just coming down the stairs to my right as I walk down. He has his classic bed head hairstyle and his vest and jeans combo. His hair and eyes match mine perfectly which is to be expected since we're twins I guess. We both walk into the kitchen hoping mom was finished with breakfast because we were both hungry. Both of us were grumpy because it Monday which meant a whole week of torture. Joseph is as ostracized as I am. We ended up like this because of out personalities but we don't really care. It only hurts when they include Nathan and Tiffany, my two best friends. They often get crap just for socializing with me.
As soon as Joseph and I finished breakfast Mom ushered into the car talking about how late we were going to be. I shouldered my backpack dreading the moment we got to the school. It was only a five minute drive. A groan escaped me as the front of the school came into view with students streaming into it's entrance.
“See you tonight,” says Mom smiling. She mistakes my groan for just not wanting to go to school. I say bye but Joseph only grunts. Joseph and I had made a pact not to let her know what out fellow classmates thought of us. We got out of the car and walked up. Mom soon disappears.
Snickers and pointing follow us as we walk to the entrance. I bet there is another rumor going around that's been devised by the 'queen' of the school, Madison.
“Lyn!” I hear a very girly excited voice exclaim. I turn in time to see a pair of skinny tan arms wrap around my neck. A little higher was a head of perfect curly platinum blond hair.
“Don't kill her Tiff,” says a voice behind her. I look up into very clear forest green eyes. Eyes that I had had a crush on since fifth grade when I first met these two. Brown red hair swept across his face as he smiled at me. That smile always gave me butterflies.
“Hey Tiffany. Hey Nathan,” I grinned putting the whispers behind me. We walked through the door. Seeing them everyday almost made going to school worth it.
I noticed Joseph had an odd look on his face. He seemed to be fighting with something.
“You ok?” I ask concern scrunching up my face. He nods, smiling but it seems forced. The bell rings so I have no time to ask him further on the subject. We all hurry off to class. Joseph, Tiffany, and Nathan being lucky having first period together. I was all by myself in health class.
I walk to my desk to find it littered with post it notes. All of them say something like 'Go die you whore' or 'What the hell is your problem skank.” I wonder what devious lie Madison has implanted in the school this time. I pile the notes in my hand and dump them in the trash can. People watch carefully for my reaction but I keep an emotionless mask in place. They won't know if they hurt me or not.
“So this is the b**** who tried to make a move on Madison's man?” stage asks a person to my left. They are just loud enough for me to hear but quiet enough for me not to know who said it. I guess they want to see how I react but I show nothing.
Mrs. Brown walks in and starts class. All the whispering dies down. I sigh and drift off into thoughts about Joseph's weird behavior.
First period ends and so does second and third. None of those classes I have with anyone I like. What I get for taking advanced classes I guess. At least I fourth period with Tiffany. Although I absolutely hate choir. It's full of snotty girls who all want to prove they're the best singer in the class and are constantly trying to over-sing each other. Mrs. Tibbs is always getting mad at us for not working together and blending. She's fighting a losing battle.
Today she's getting very angry and is currently ranting at the sopranos for having too many voices sticking out and not even being on pitch. Tiff takes this chance to talk to me.
“Um, Lyn. I think it's best if we stop being friends for a bit,” she says avoiding my eyes. I gape at her. If I was expecting anything this was not it. Just this morning she was acting like nothing was wrong.
“What's wrong? Is someone bothering you?” I ask trying to keep control over my voice. She shakes her head.
“The only thing that's wrong is that you're holding me back. Madison has already told me if I stopped being friends with you she'd welcome me with open arms,” she says. She's still not looking me in the eye. I open my mouth to say something but she turns around completely. Mrs. Tibbs continues class trying to act like nothing happened. The entire time my eyes burn and I work to keep control.
After fourth I try to talk to Tiffany but she walks off and finds Madison. Madison turns her head towards me whispers something to Tiffany and they both walk off laughing, their blond heads bobbing. The burning in my eyes return and is only intensified when I see Nathan walk by like I don't exist and run up to Tiffany. They laugh and start holding hands. I feel as if the wind is knocked out of me.
I stop in the middle of the hallway and cause people to complain at me. I look around for Joseph but don't see him anywhere. Just when I needed him most. Confusion muddles my brain and I head into the library. I'm supposed to go to lunch but I don't feel very hungry right now. I tell myself that I'm not going to cry. Crying shows weakness.
Everyone in the library gives me a wide berth. Knowing how this school is everyone probably already knows I've been dumped by my friends. Now no one will ever dare to talk to me.
The rest of the day passes in a blur. Sixth period, the class I share with both Tiff and Nathan, was hell for me. They ignored me the entire time. Every time I tried talking to them they would suddenly turn or start talking to someone else. People began to laugh openly when they saw my failed attempts.
By the end of the day I wanted to go home and break down into Joseph's chest. Because no matter what happened I knew he would be there for me. However, when the final bell rang mercifully but I couldn't find Joseph anywhere. I decided I would talk to him whenever he got home. He sometimes went over to his friend's house. I liked him going there because he seemed happier every time he came home from there. It had only been two months since he had made this friend and I could already tell how much happier he was. Although it made me a bit worried when he said I wasn't allowed to meet this friend.
Mom would still be at work right now so I had to walk home. Halfway to my house a cherry red convertible slid up beside me.
“Hey there skank!” yells a snide voice. I look up to see Madison in her Hollister and Aeropostle clothing surrounded by her groupie clones. So Madison wants to get her laugh huh? I ignore her and just keep my head down the whole time.
“What? Your not crying are you? No one's gonna care! Even your own friends don't want you anymore! Wouldn't it be better if you just disappeared?” she calls out. I continue ignoring her but I speed up my walking. I can't do anything drastic or else she'll make my life even worse. However, she seems to have had her fun and with her and her friends laughs echoing. I keep my cool until I get inside my house. Then I slam the door and throw my backpack to the ground.
I go up the stairs and knock on Joseph's door but there's no answer. So he must be at his friend's place for sure. Instead I head to my room and sink into my bed. I don't know how long I sit there but I eventually fall asleep.
“Lyn,” says my Mom shaking me awakes. She sounds scared. I rub my eyes and stretch.
“What's up?” I ask. She looks scared too making me more alert. She hands me a note.
Sorry Lyn. Sorry Mom. I'm going to be gone for awhile. Don't know how long though. I have to do this. There are circumstances that you don't know about. Not even you Lyn. I'm sorry that things turned out this way. Don't look for me. Sorry.
My mind begins to race. Gone? Joseph's gone? The one person who said they'd be there for me? And all the emotion I had been holding suddenly comes out in gasping sobs. Why? Why would he leave? All these questions circle around my head. Mom is calling the cops in the other room. I just sit there.
“Honey it's going to be ok. They'll find him,” but her voice is broken and breathless with fear. I continue to cry. She rubs my back but eventually we're both hugging and crying together.
The doorbell rings and she goes to answer it rubbing her eyes. I fall back into my bed listening to the voices below. I don't know when but I eventually fall asleep.
I'm sitting on the floor and I realize I'm asleep but I'm perfectly aware of what's going on. I don't really feel asleep though and everything feels too real. I'm still in the fleece pajama pants and go green t-shirt I fell asleep in. My surroundings are endless dark. The black that seems like it will swallow you. I stumble around a bit calling out for someone but no one answers. A voice finally answers me and I sigh in relief. “Lyn,” says the voice behind me. I swing around and a pair of hands steady me. I look up into a pair of red eyes.
“Who are you?” I ask. I frown at easy-going smirk accentuated by edgy black hair. He's a pretty good looking guy in a rocker tee, black jeans, and plain black tennis shoes. His skin is unnaturally pale though, you can see his veins. Almost like an albino but his hair would be practically white then. I frown.
“What beautiful brown hair,” he says and lifts a lock of my hair lifting it to his face, “Lavender scented shampoo huh?” He's still smirking. I try to ignore the chills his touch gives me. Good or bad I'm not sure yet.
“I don't have time for this,” I say angrily. He laughs. This makes me angrier. How dare he laugh when I'm worried about never seeing my brother again. And considering he's most likely part of my subconscious he should know that he should be more considerate.
“Don't worry, you have plenty of time. Or at least I do,” he smiles. But it's one of those creepy smiles that doesn't touch his eyes at all, “Seriously could you siblings be any more different?” At this his smile gets wider.
I freeze at this, “Do you know where Joseph is?” I ask tentatively. He smiles.
“Maybe,” he says and starts walking off. I follow getting angrier with each step but he turns his head and grins. Then he takes off. I run after him determined to keep up and make him tell me where Joseph is.
Soon I can't run any longer. My body has always been weaker than others and has been cause for much grief. Joseph used to freak out if I did anything remotely physical, but now he's no longer there to freak out on me. I'm alone this time. The thoughts cause me to run even harder even though I know I'm pushing my limits to dangerous levels. I run until I have to fall down and even then I stretch toward him. I need my brother back. Nothing is right with him gone.
“Ah, that's no fun,” he says suddenly beside me. He kneels next to me, smirking, “And I thought you wanted your brother back?”
But I can't answer. Pain spikes through my entire torso. I can feel my throat constricting and my heart pumping much too hard. I've overdone it.
“Hey,” he says with a worried look. I glare at him but soon wince. I start to cough and that's when I really know it's getting bad. I look into my hand to find it spattered with blood. If possible the boy's face gets paler.
“Go to sleep,” he says and gently taps my forehead. The nice gesture surprises me but also pisses me off. I try to complain about finding out about my brother but I'm already falling asleep.
In the morning I wake up to a scream. I jump out of bed and trip down the stairs, trying to take it as easy as I can while I found out the problem. The scene I stumble on is horrifying and seems to be in slow motion. My mother is screaming again as loud as she can and she's sunk to the ground clawing at the carpet as if looking for an escape. And the sounds of her wails are so mournful I can guess their source.
There are two officers trying to comfort my mom. They put their hands on her shoulders like they can understand her pain. One abandons the effort and comes over to me to explain, “We found your brother's body this morning in the river. It seems like he fell down and drowned.” Blood pounds into my ears and the rest of me goes numb.
Joseph dead? No way. I know for a fact he's not. My mind and heart are having an argument. My mind says listen to the officers, they've found a body, how can he be alive? My heart argues that he is alive and I know it for a fact. It's a twin thing. Joseph is not dead. The officer looks at me as if guessing my internal dilemma, “The body has already been taken to the morgue.” I choke.
“We've called your aunt to come up and take care of you until your mom is.... stable,” says the other officer, he's still patting my mom on the shoulder. He has a very sad expression on his face. I sink to the ground like mom and start sobbing. I pull my knees into my chest and shake my head. Their wrong, he's not dead. I know it. So why won't they quit saying he's dead? Both of them look over at me with pained expressions. Then a familiar pain comes.
I start to cough again, pain consumes my diaphragm and lungs again. Blood spatters my hand and the cops freak out saying I need to go to the hospital. One says he'll take me while the other says he'll watch my mom. Mom has become subdued now and is just staring at the wall. She doesn't even notice him take me away.
Neighbors try to peer over at us because there is a cop car in front of our house. They gasp when they see the cop come out with me right behind misreading the situation. I don't even care what they think. Or what anyone thinks. All I can think about is Joseph. Even when I'm coughing up blood.
The cop opens the door for me to sit in the passenger side. I slide into the leather seat and close my eyes. After a while I begin watch the neighborhoods and people zoom by out the window on the way to the hospital. I envy the way they are oblivious living their lives like nothing is happening. My breathing calms down. The officer doesn't say anything but I think he can tell I don't wish to talk.
On the way to the hospital I decide I'll find my brother and do whatever is necessary. Even talk to a strange boy in my dreams. Because I know Joseph is alive.
I've been in the hospital for two days now. The doctors have finally concluded my attack was from shock.
Of course they aren't aware of the fact that it happened in a dream and even though the dream ended my symptoms were still real. Which can only make me conclude that what happened in the dream was real. So I've been waiting for another dream to happen so that I can finally make the boy tell me where Joseph is. I know he knows what really happened to my brother the only problem is how am I going to make him tell me.
To be sure I'm not going to just keel over and die the minute I get up from the bed, they're making me stay one more night. Which means another night hooked up to machines and crappy hospital food. All of which is surrounded by the smell of medicine and death. Just like a vacation. I'd much rather be out looking for my brother.
The nurses here aren't so bad though, if they'd stop being so annoying. They treat me like a pitiful little puppy and frankly I'm tired of their pity. They remember me being here a year ago when my dad died. Now my brother's been found 'dead' and my mom's been transferred into a mental clinic, and I'm in the hospital. Every time I look them in the eyes I'm reminded how much my life sucks. But it'll be fine because I'll get out of the hospital, I'll find my brother, my mom's coming home tomorrow and she'll be fine when I get Joseph back, and my dad, well there was no fighting his sudden heart attack.
I look over to see it's evening already. Starting tomorrow my aunt will start living with us to watch over me. She's already told me I'm to go to school tomorrow. Honestly, she doesn't care what happens to me or my family and she finds the whole thing a bother. However, she couldn't say no to a request from Grandma who holds her inheritance.
I decide it's time for sleep when the last rays of sun disappear. Hopefully the boy will be there and I'll find out where Joseph is.
It's the same setting as the other dream. Endless black. I look around for the boy and his bright red eyes. But I don't see either.
“Hello,” I call, feeling completely moronic when no one answers. I start walking forward feeling a bit peeved about how I finally have a chance to find my brother and the boy isn't showing up.
Arms encircle pulling me into a warm body. I gasp and whirl around looking up into the same red eyed pale faced boy from earlier. He's wearing a different rock band shirt and this time it's blue jeans. This time his expression is softer though.
“Scared ya huh?” he grins. His smile seems more relaxed and confident than last time. Kinder too.
“Joseph is still alive right? The cops were wrong right?” I ask. Please tell me that I'm right.
“What makes you so sure?” he asks playfully like it was no big deal. He puts a lock of my hair behind my ear and I glare as I think up my reply.
“Twins intuition,” I say shortly. This guy is irritating jumping around the subject like that. He laughs at my answers and steps closer.
“Well you have a good intuition. Joseph is alive and well,” he says. I laugh as relief floods through me. I'm so happy I unintentionally give the strange boy a hug. Well more like I sorta tackle him. He gasps a bit but returns the hug and laughs. It's a very nice laugh. Honestly I'm so happy at the moment I could kiss him.
“Wow he really didn't tell you anything,” he says. He sounds a bit sad when he says this like he wishes I knew whatever it is. I give him a confused look which he laughs off. Then he pats my head and smiles, “Tell you next time.” And he starts to walk off. I try to think of something fast to keep him from leaving.
“How do I know you won't just disappear? And where is my brother?” I ask. He couldn't just leave. I needed those answers.
“Don't trust me?”he asks quirking an eyebrow and takes a step towards me again, “Can't blame you though. I guess I'll just have to give you some proof that I'll come back.”
His hands entwine in my hair making me shiver. I feel locked like an animal caught in the eyes of it's predator. My head is gently nudged forward until our lips meet. A soft press. His eyes are even more mesmerizing close up. It only lasts a few seconds but the feeling lingers.
“Guess I'll have to teach you how to kiss huh?” he asks. He smirks like the egotistical jerk he is. The egotistical jerk who stole my first kiss. The one I don't mind him stealing. My fingers touch my lips as if trying to imprint the feel of it forever.
“By the way I'll see you tomorrow. Can't hardly ignore once I've taken your first kiss right?” he calls out behind him. I jerk my face in his direction. How does he know that was my first? Unless Joseph said something. Soon after this thought crosses my mind I fall asleep.
The next morning I awaken to find my Aunt standing at the foot of my bed. Her dark brown hair pulled into a bun to go with her stark black suit. I stare at her until she opens her mouth, "Well nice to see your finally awake." I glare in response.
Aunt Trudy has always been like this. She expects everyone to be neat and organized. There are absolutely no exceptions. Which is probably why she's going to die alone, well not completely considering her cats. It's also the reason why she hated my father. He was a very untidy person.
"You know I always warned your mother not to let you two run around but did she listen? Not at all. And now look! Joseph is dead. Well he should have just come home like a sensible responsible boy would," she says. I open my mouth to tell her exactly what I think of that when a nurse pops her head in.
"Mrs. Lyn, you have visitors," she says and her head disappears. Nathan and Tiffany come in looking guilty. My Aunt sniffs and walks out after the nurse.
I notice that Tiffany is wearing sweats and a t-shirt. Not her usual style. Nathan is also dressed down. Just regular shorts and baggy shirt. His hair hasn't been toyed with to perfection either.
"Lyn we're so sorry we did that to you. And right before you needed us the most. We're horrible friends," says Tiffany. She sounds like she's been crying and looks it from the look of her red swollen eyes. I don't think sorry can even begin to cover it but I don't say anything.
"If there is anything we can do tell us," says Nathan. If possible he looks even guiltier than Tiffany. I wonder if they can even understand how I feel. I look between the two of them and then pat the side of my bed. I could be mean but right now I need people to talk to and these two used to be there for me in the past.
"Joseph isn't dead," I say. They look at me startled. A glance is shared between them like they should go alert a doctor of what I am saying.
"Lyn they found his body. How could he not be dead?" asks Tiff. Her voice breaks on the word body. I shake my head.
"I'm not sure how it was done but the body isn't real. It can't be...," I say but I can tell they don't believe me, "Look lately I've been getting these strange dreams only they aren't really dreams. I had an attack in one and it continued when I woke up even though I hadn't done anything physically demanding except for in the dream." They're still looking at me oddly.
"Well then. That's taken care of," says my Aunt walking back into the room. I give them a look telling them to keep their mouths shut. I glance up to see my Aunt staring at me.
"Now I suggest you freshen up a bit," says my Aunt, "You don't want to be late for school." I look up at her. School? I didn't have time for school! I needed to go see the place my brother 'drowned' and see if I can find any hint to his whereabouts. And not only that my brother has been considered dead! This b**** really has no feelings! Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought this.
"School isn't where Lyn should be right now! She should be grieving! Can't you show a little more compassion?!" says Nathan loudly. I'm happy that he's sticking up for me but still a little peeved at him for ditching me.
"Seeing as I am her current guardian I get to choose what Lyn does or doesn't do," she says and briskly walks out again. I groan. Madison probably won't let me off the hook no matter how many of my relatives die. In fact she'll probably try to hit me harder thinking I'll be weakened or something. Today is not going to be fun. But at least now I don't have to face it alone.
The school looks the same as ever. But it's different. There's no hug from Joseph to give me support as we face that day's tauntings. There's not going to be any in-between classes twin note passing. No eating lunch together. No having lockers right next to eachother. No Joseph.
People are whispering more than ever behind my back. Though I hear more pity in it than ever. This doesn't even make me happier in the slightest.
"So your brother finally dropped dead huh? You going to follow soon?" asks a downright bitchy voice. I turn seething to find the much too perfect face of Madison. I really am not in the mood for her right now. And she can tell but it only makes her smile, "What's wrong?" she asks in a fake sweet voice.
"The fact that your in my way you damn barbie doll," says a voice behind her. A sexy voice I've been hearing in dreams lately. Madison turns shocked to hear anyone talk smack about her. I grin.
"So this is what you meant by 'See you tomorrow' huh?" I ask. He smiles back. Madison looks between us in disbelief. A lot of people are paying attention to what's going on now.
"You know the new kid?" asks Nathan. He and Tiff don't look so happy about this but I decide to ask about it later.
"Since your here does that mean your going to tell me?" I ask raising my eyebrows. He smiles but it seems a bit forced. Madison is still looking at us like we're growing arms out of our foreheads. Well mainly me.
"Something you need Madison?" I ask in my own fake sweet voice. She glares and stomps off toward her possy. I turn to Cain and look at him.
He's wearing jeans and another rocker tee. How many of those does he have? His hair is the same but he has bags under his eyes. His eyes...
"Um weren't your eyes red?" I ask. He smiles. Ok so he's not going to answer that.
"Today after school I'll take you somewhere you can get your questions answered," he says. Excitement fills me! I'll find out where my brother is today!
Nathan and Tiffany are looking at him in disbelief. They must not believe me still.
"See you after school!" I shout because the bell rings when I say this. He nods and walks into the office. Good he's not just going to disappear this time, I will make him tell me where Joseph is. I follow Tiff and Nathan to the hallway which is becoming overcrowded very fast. They still look pissed off. But I'm elated. Finally some answers.
King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania
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